An exciting new opportunity to bring the perspectives of Black and minority ethnic people to the centre of local democracy has been created by Brighton & Hove City Council, as part of a pledge to become an anti-racist city.
The council is looking for someone who is from any ethnic minority group(s) to join as a standing invitee, with full speaking rights, on the council’s key decision-making committee.
This is an opportunity to sit at the heart of Brighton & Hove’s democracy and enable the lived experience and diverse perspectives of BME people to be heard.
The successful candidate must live or work in Brighton & Hove and not be actively involved in party-politics. They will be expected to attend meetings of the Policy & Resources Committee where they will have full speaking rights on the most important issues of council strategy, finance, economic growth and regeneration among other key areas.
This important and influential position is a voluntary role, but the successful candidate will be provided with training, IT equipment and ongoing support. The council will cover any expenses incurred in connection with the role.
Joint message from the political leaders
In a joint message to potential applicants the council's three political leaders said:
"We’ve made a public pledge to become an anti-racist council and work towards Brighton & Hove becoming an anti-racist city.
"As political leaders we recognise that the council must be actively anti-racist and use our privilege, platforms and resources to challenge and remove structural racism and injustice wherever we can, both within the council itself and throughout our city.
"We’re united in wanting our actions to reflect our anti-racist commitment and include our Black, minority ethnic and faith communities.
"One of the areas we looked at was the representation of BME people in our local democracy. The next local elections are not until 2023 and therefore we’re proposing appointing a person who is BME to sit on the most powerful decision-making committee of the council.
"The Policy & Resources Committee makes important decisions on the most important issues of policy, public finance and city development. This will ensure that our democratic decision-making process has the benefit of insight from and reflect the perspectives and lived experiences of someone from a BME background.
"One representative will not be expected be the voice and lived experience of every single BME person in the city, but the idea forms part of an overall push to
take immediate and longer term actions to include BME people in every part of the council’s work. It follows the example of similar positive action for equality taken by other councils.
"It will give the successful candidate the opportunity to make a difference to the city and influence decisions in the council. We’ll make sure the successful person will be provided with the necessary support to perform the role and will be welcomed by all councillors.
"This initiative, among many other actions we are taking, will hopefully help in ensuring that council decision-making is more inclusive and contribute towards our aim of being a fairer and more inclusive employer and public service provider.
"We hope we get as many applicants as possible and look forward to working with the successful candidate in tackling racism and promoting equality."
- Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty - Leader of the Council, Convenor of the Green Group
- Councillor Nancy Platts - Leader of the Labour Group
- Councillor Steve Bell - Leader of the Conservative Group